Viacom Reaches Web Distribution Deal With Sony

Viacom and Sony said they reached an agreement that will put 22 Viacom cable networks on the new cloud-based TV service Sony plans to launch.

TV programmers have been looking for ways to reach broadband-only younger consumers and other cord cutters as traditional cable subscriptions get more expensive.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman has said he expected a virtual multichannel video programming distributor to emerge this year and talks between Sony and Viacom had been reported. Viacom’s networks skew young and have been among the most affected as viewing shifts to mobile devices like tablets and smart phones.

Dish Network is also working on an internet-based TV service and has signed up Walt Disney Co. and A+E Networks.

“Our new cloud-based TV service will combine the live TV content people love most about cable with the dynamic experience they have come to expect from our network,” Andrew House, group executive, network entertainment business at Sony Corporation, said in a statement. “Viacom’s award-winning networks are a perfect match for our new service, ensuring that our customers will be able to access the shows they love on their favorite devices, when and how they choose.”

Sony’s TV service will offer subscribers Internet-based live TV and video-on-demand from major programmers. Viacom networks on the service at launch will included BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, Spike, TV Land, VH1, BET Gospel, Centric, Logo, CMT Pure Country, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, mtvU, Palladia, TeenNick and VH1 Classic.

The service will also provide authenticated access to programming on Viacom’s TV Everywhere web sites and apps.

“Viacom always strives to create transformational opportunities that combine consumer value and technological innovation,” said Viacom’s Dauman. “Given our young, tech-savvy audiences, our networks are essential for any new distribution platform, and we’re excited to be among the many programmers that will help power Sony’s new service and advance a new era for television.” 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.